Want To Know the 3 Greatest Challenges Facing Entrepreneurs?


About a month ago I conducted a survey of around 1000 entrepreneurs for a training company. They wanted to find out exactly what their greatest fears were around building/growing their business? I didn't differentiate between pure start ups and existing businesses.

The 21 categories I suggested in the survey were:

·         Strategic planning                                           Succession planning

·         Sales and marketing                                       Competition

·         Skills gap                                                        Lack of business insight

·         Time management                                          Delegating

·         Financial planning                                           Asking for help

·         Compliance                                                     Managing stress

·         Personal growth                                             Self doubt

·         Flexibility                                                         Talent management

·         Finding the right team                                    Change management

·         Decision making                                             Work life balance

·         Training and development

I was fully expecting ‘work life balance’ to hit the top of the list; or possibly financial planning or even perhaps, managing stress. But you can see from the results below my top 3 weren’t even in the top 5:

1.       Time management

2.       Sales and marketing

3.       Self belief

4.       Self doubt

5.       Strategic planning

6.       Asking for help

7.       Change management

8.       Decision making

9.       Delegating

10.   Work life balance

11.   Financial planning

12.   Succession planning

13.   Competition

14.   Personal growth

15.   Lack of business insight

16.   Compliance

17.   Managing stress

18.   Flexibility

19.   Skills gap

20.   Training and development

21.   Talent management

I guess my big surprise was how high in the rankings ‘self belief’ came. I guess we think that entrepreneurs are imbued with massive doses of self confidence – not so it seems.

And of course, for me, an HR consultant, I guess the fact that skills, training and talent management were at the bottom of the list was worrying, because no business can be built with one person, we all need a good team around us, and having found great people we surely need to look after them.

However, an interesting exercise. 

The training company AudioNova are now working on building a range of mini training products for entrepreneurs to address their fears and help them seriously grow their businesses.  

I guess the big message that came out of the exercise for all of use was – never assume you know what people are going through. When in doubt – ask.


About the author:

Ann Andrews is an HR Consultant, published author, profiler and team specialist. She is passionate about helping businesses grow through growing their people.


Ann Andrews CSP

MD The Corporate Toolbox



Co-creator of www.mycorporateguide.com


Ann Andrews CSP specialises in working with high performing teams and showing managers how to deal with poor performance.

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